- Sudanese army officer for 30 years, from 1969-1999
- Head of military intelligence from June 30, 1989 -- the day Omar al-Bashir took power in a coup -- until August 1995
- Head of the foreign spy agency, 1995-1996
- Chief of military operations against the insurgency in what is now South Sudan, 1996-1999.
Dabi served as ambassador to Qatar from 1999 to 2004 but also held four separate positions related to Sudan's Darfur region, where fighting broke out in 2003 between non-Arab rebels and the Arab-dominated Khartoum regime.
Among his duties there, Dabi served in 2005 as the regime's pointman for dealing with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1591 on sanctions and other measures related to the conflict.
Sudan's President Bashir is among six people who are being sought or are before the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes allegedly committed in the Darfur region.